1 – Alhaji Aliko Dangote is undoubtedly Africa’s best known CEO and president. He is the continent’s wealthiest man and sits at the helm of the Dangote Group. The Nigerian self-made business magnate has an estimated net worth of $16.1 billion as of March 2013. Based in Nigeria, his company has interests in commodities with operations in his homeland and several other countries in Africa.
He was born in the northern Nigerian state of Kano on April 10, 1957 into a wealthy Muslim family. His early days in business go back as far as when he was a pupil in primary school. He said: “I can remember when I was in primary school; I would go and buy cartons of sweets and would start selling them just to make money. I was so interested in business, even at that time.”
2 – Stefan Amraly is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Lotus Energy Group.
3 – Maria Ramos is the CEO of Absa Group and is one of the continent’s most respected public administrators and business leaders. Absa is South Africa’s second largest financial services company by market capitalisation and she was appointed in 2009. Prior to her current job, she worked in South Africa’s public sector.
4 – Jacko Maree is CEO of the Standard Bank Group, Africa’s largest financial services conglomerate, which has operations in 33 different countries including South Africa, Nigeria, Turkey, Russia, Argentina and Jersey. The 53-year-old former Rhodes’ scholar is also chairman of The Banking Association (SA) and is the former director of the International Monetary Conference.
5 – Sifiso Dabengwa is the Group President and CEO of the MTN Group Ltd, which he joined in 1999. While he is known to fiercely guard his privacy and prefers not to give interviews, he is an inspirational leader for the staff of Africa’s largest telecommunications company. Dabengwa regularly participates in road trips around the continent to personally rally employees.
6 –Divine Ndhlukula is the founder and managing director of DDNS Security Operations (Pvt) Ltd. This endearing lady’s dogged determination and iron will has elevated her business started in a backyard cottage to a company which now employs 3,500 people. Divine is an inspirational role model who works hard to encourage other women to follow her lead.
7 – Phuti Malabie is the CEO of Shanduka, a black-owned and managed investment company started by businessman Cyril Ramaphosa. The Wall Street Journal named Malabie one of its TOP 50 Women to Watch in 2008. Deemed charismatic, glamorous and ambitions, this 40-year-old whizzkid puts her meteoric rise down to her drive which comes, she says, from her privileged upbringing.
8 – Patrice Motsepe was born in Soweto and is the 51-year-old founder and executive chairman of the $5 billion African Rainbow Minerals business, which has interests in gold, ferrous metals, base metals and platinum. In 2012, he was named as South Africa’s richest man topping the Sunday Times’ annual Rich List with a $2.4 billion fortune.
9 – Bob Collymore has been ringing the changes at Safaricom Ltd since becoming the CEO in 2010. The enthusiastic leader of this leading telecommunications company , which was responsible for launching the first mobile phone payment method M-Pesa, has more than 25 years of commercial experience having previously worked for Vodacom.
10 – Nicky Newton King is the first woman to run the Johannesburg Stock Exchange since she was appointed as Chief Executive Officer on January 1 2012, having been the deputy for nine years. Originally from Cape Town she is a graduate of Stellenbosch and Cambridge universities and she has three law degrees.